In a bid to incentivize more frontline workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Amazon is offering a lottery of cash and prizes valued at almost $2 million, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
The contest, called Max Your Vax, will reportedly offer a total of 18 prizes, including two $500,000 cash awards, six $100,000 awards, five new vehicles and five vacation packages. Bloomberg said it reviewed the details last week on the same day that Amazon announced that it would again require warehouse workers to wear masks as the COVID Delta variant surged across the U.S.
Amazon has stopped short of mandating vaccines for its 1.3-million person worldwide workforce. The company said the mask requirement in fulfillment facilities applies to all workers, regardless of vaccination status. But other tech giants including Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are requiring vaccines for those who do return to work in offices.
Amazon pushed back its planned date for a return to in-office workers to Jan. 3, 2022, after previously hoping to have corporate and tech workers back the week of Sept. 7.
Bloomberg said the lottery is open to its frontline workers, including hourly workers at Whole Foods Market and Amazon Fresh grocery stores and those in Amazon Web Services data centers.
“We strongly believe that the best way to protect our frontline employees and communities from COVIDS-19 is through vaccinations,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Bloomberg. “And we are proud to have hosted more than 1,100 on-site vaccination events to help make getting a vaccination as easy as possible for our employees and their household members.”
In May, Amazon announced that it planned to hire an additional 75,000 workers for its warehouse and logistics operations across the U.S. and Canada as continued to grow at a whirlwind pace amid the pandemic. Many of the new hires would get a “sign-on bonus” of up to $1,000, and those who arrive on the job already vaccinated will get an additional $100 benefit, the company said at the time.
Washington state also gave away cash and prizes as part of a lottery which it announced in June in an attempt to raises the state’s vaccination level. Along with hefty cash prizes, game systems and smart speakers were also being offered up, including 300 Xboxs and GamePasses from Microsoft; 100 Echo Dots from Amazon; 25 Google Nests; and an undisclosed number of Nintendo Switch game consoles.